V Magazine Features Thread of Man March 9, 2016

THREAD OF MAN BY AUGUST GETTY AND DAVID LACHAPELLE
BY SAMUEL ANDERSON

FRESH OFF HIS DEBUT ON THE WORLD STAGE AT LAST MONTH'S OSCARS, DESIGNER AUGUST GETTY RELEASES A FILM NOIR TRAILER THAT CAPTURES HIS WHITE-HOT BRAND IN A NUTSHELL

“I have no idea how the fuck we pulled that off,” confessed 22-year-old designer August Getty, referring to the elaborate unveiling of his S/S ’16 collection, “Thread of Man,” last November—now the subject of a short film of the same name. Befitting Getty’s illustrious Los Angeles roots (he is the great-grandson of J. Paul Getty), the event began at the Peninsula Hotel, where a fleet of black Mercedes vans greeted 500 unwitting invitees. “We pretty much kidnapped them,” Getty added.

The vans then zipped across town to an undisclosed location, and plopped passengers into the sexiest end-of-world scenario imaginable. “When guests arrived, the first thing they saw was a car crash surrounded by a bunch of beautiful models,” said Getty. "We wanted [the audience] to be like, Alright, Los Angeles is weird, fuck this shit.”

In reality, they were on the Universal Studios back lot, immersed in a labyrinthine set, part-fashion show part-installation, dreamed up by August Getty Atelier in collaboration with artist David LaChapelle. As guests arrived, director Elena Parasco and her crew began rolling. The product is a pulsating, hyper-noir collage showcasing Getty’s skin-toned, body-hugging designs, and announcing the new, female-centric generation of California’s royal family.

“Not many people notice this,” Getty revealed, “But right before you see the Getty Oil sign (around the 40-second mark), you see a shot of my sister’s hand up against the window with the a tattoo that says ‘Lady.’ So it actually says ‘Lady Getty.’”

In more ways than one, Thread of Man is a funhouse reflection of Getty’s LA upbringing: He cited Blade Runner (the sci-fi classic set in 2019 Los Angeles), and local landmarks the Getty Center and Getty Villa (both built by his family) as inspirations for the set. And while the scantily clad army assembled there embodied Hollywood nightlife, Getty chose models that represented difference as well as sexuality. Among them were amputee model Lauren Walter, as well as trans icons Carmen Carrera and Gigi Gorgeous (the latter recently joined Getty at Paris Fashion Week as his muse).

In a short span, disruption has become Getty’s specialty. Last month, the oil scion made a splash when Rachel McAdams wore one of his backless, head-turning numbers to the Oscars. “I was pretty much told that [McAdams] would do everything in her power to have that dress. It looked stunning, and I’m so happy that she felt comfortable choosing me to dress her for such a personal moment.”

But as in many a Hollywood storyline, Getty’s sharp ascent has attracted fans as well as skeptics—whom the unfiltered prodigy has no problem addressing. “A lot of people might not want me to be where I am right now, but I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I just love creating, and that’s all I really want to do: to make the world more beautiful one sequin at a time.”

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